In just a matter of hours before dawn today a police officer was killed and four others wounded in the Gauteng and Western Cape Provinces respectively.
In Gauteng, two police constables from Dobsonville were conducting patrols in Braamfischerville when they were shot at and wounded by suspects using pistols and rifles. The police officers managed to summon backup and a K9 unit responded. The members from the K9 Unit also came under fire from the gunmen which resulted in a shootout.
The suspects tried to escape in two vehicles and one of the cars crashed into a house; the suspects jumped out of the cars and fled on foot. One suspect was shot and killed during an exchange of gunfire but the others escaped and are being sought by police.
Both wounded police officers were taken to hospital but one officer later succumbed to his injuries and passed away. It was later discovered that the suspects had bombed an automated teller machine (ATM) at a service station within the Braamfischerville area.
Almost simultaneously in the Western Cape, three constables from Nyanga police station aged 26, 32 and 44 years, as well as a security guard, were shot and wounded during a robbery at a tavern in Browns Farm.
Our members were responding to the robbery when they came under fire. Members of the Special Task Force were summoned to the scene to extract the armed suspects who were hiding in the tavern. During this intervention the four suspects aged between 33 and 35 years were arrested and one firearm was confiscated.
The wounded police officers and the security guard are reportedly in a stable condition in hospital.
These attacks on police officers as they serve and protect the communities seem to continue unabated and they should be strongly condemned by all sectors of society. We grieve with the family and colleagues of the member killed on duty in the early hours of this morning and wish our wounded members a speedy recovery. An attack on one officer is an attack on the nation. We cannot remain silent when those who are out there, risking their lives to protect us, are killed. Let us speak out, let us talk about these heinous crimes, and let us do so in memory of those who have already died fighting for our safety and security.
We are pleased that the courts are taking decisive action against those that are killing our police officers. This past Friday, 28th July 2017, two suspects were sentenced in the South Gauteng High Court for the murder of Constable Njabulo Buthelezi. 0n 29 July 2015 at about 08:00 a group of about nine men robbed the staff at Cash Crusaders of electronic equipment including laptops and cellphones. As the suspects were leaving they came across a patrol van from Vosloorus SAPS. The suspects fired shots at the van in which Constable Buthelezi was killed. After intensive investigations two suspects, Mphiliseni Ndawonde and Nkululeko Ndebele were arrested, were convicted and sentenced. They both received life sentences for the murder, 15 years for armed robbery, and 10 years for the possession of unlicensed firearms and five years for the possession of unlicensed ammunition.
The South African Police Service is urging greater community participation against these ruthless attacks on our police men and women.